[Gilles Deleuze] Cinema I & Cinema II

  • Title: Cinema I
  • Author: Gilles Deleuze
  • Published: 1983
  • Title: Cinema II
  • Author: Gilles Deleuze
  • Published: 1985


  • Cinema is a technology that frees human from what it actually is.
  • Cinematic distribution of images have made us see more but perceive/think less. Cinema reduces the future to already experienced forms (cliché or stereotypes).
  • We do not apply philosophy to cinema, nor use cinema as an example of philosophical thinking. When we think through cinema, the life and out philosophical thinking will be transformed.
  • The history of though is cinematic. Life has evolved through the production of relations (new mode of thinking) among images.


  • Traditionally, essence is regarded stable and timeless – what remains the same through time.
  • For Deleuze, there is not stable entities, there is only time and the creation of difference. Therefore, essence is something that creates difference.
  • The essence of cinema is not what it generally is or the features all films share. What allows to produce new forms is the essence of cinema.
  • When Hollywood reuses the same form of movies again and again, it does not actualize the essence (potential) of cinema.


  • Premodern idea of movement: it is the regulated transition from one form to another as a privileged instance in time. It is oriented in advance to what it ought to achieve.
  • Modern idea of movement: it is not a special instance but any-instance-whatever. Passage is not determined in advance.


  • By presenting images, the movement-image allows us to construct events according to the sequences of purposes, of natural consequences, or of changing situations.
  • Each movement (action) alters a situation, alters relations, and alters the whole.
  • Cinematic styles or techniques indirectly connects each movement to an open whole.
  • Montage presents movement not as moving a single body in space, but as connecting different movements to a dynamic whole.
  • In the changing whole, time is not a series of equivalent moment, but a whole duration of dynamics.
  • Movement-Images are not yet direct images of time. We still see changes from one movement from another.
  • Images
    • Perception-Image: things (subject seeing an object)
    • Action-Image: verbs (an action transforms a situation)
    • Affection-Image: qualities (an absorption of movement by inactive but receptive body)


  • In Time-Image, cinema is not a copy of a human-eye (perception-image) nor a series of actual movements (action-image).
  • Time-Image creates its own movements and its own time.

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